Seabank Studio

Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

Seabank Studio, silent and serene
Bathing in big moonlight every night I dream
Penarth Pier, pizza, puppies, people
lonely seashore, tidy tides tidalling.

Walking, wandering, welcoming who?
No one, no where, by myself, too.

Lonely, legacy, sea air keeps us healthy
Peaceful and noisy, impoverished and wealthy.

Atop a tower, tides rushing gently
Trapped in tiny trendy, gone half-mentally.

Yearning, churning, burning
all the while, learning;
Ready, steady,
left and now I’m mourning.

I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more, Seabank Studio. I picked at all your faults. The thin walls (I could hear the neighbour pee). The hymn-singing piano lady below (that was nice, actually). But the brash, brass (out-of-tune) band on Sundays, oh, I hated you! And I cursed the perfumed breezes that gave me headaches.

But laying down at night, to the sound of the tides, the moon’s gentle light filled my spirit (I always kept the blinds fully open at night to let her in).

A stupid grievance with the maintenance man was the last straw; I had such little patience then.

Every place has it’s good and not so good.

This place was a jewel and its imperfections, a decade later, seem insignificant. I wish I had explored it more.

Seabank Studio © December 7, 2017 | Annie Zalezsak


Toil or Dream

Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

I’m aware it’s nearly a year since my last post. I got caught up in the day job. In October, I was drawn back into reading spiritually uplifting books. Today, I read (the first stanza of) this poem, and it asked me to return to writing here.

The Cry of the Dreamer

by John Boyle O’Reilly

 I am tired of planning and toiling
 In the crowded hives of men;
 Heart-weary of building and spoiling,
 And spoiling and building again.
 And I long for the dear old river,
 Where I dreamed my youth away;
 For a dreamer lives forever,
 And a toiler dies in a day.

There’s this tendency I have to become so work-oriented, I forget that what truly nourishes my life and soul is creative activity. While I’m fortunate enough to enlist creativity in my job, I forget and neglect that my soul craves something deeper, someplace meaningful to linger on a regular basis, and give my personal reflections a safe place to flow.

This is where I planned to do (at least some of) that. I now acknowledge this is more than a frivolous past-time; it’s a downright need.

I welcome myself back.

Toil or Dream © December 6, 2017 | Annie Zalezsak

Surprises on February 29

Woodpecker determinedly
pecking at the grass,
insistently, consistently,
not bothered as I pass.

Snow still covers mountains,
but sunshine heats my face;
spring is surely dawning,
I’m in my happy place.

Pot belly pig pet
with landlord on the lead
sniffling, snorting, shuffling
on a downtown street.

Collard-coloured classic car
rumbling rudely by
with a skeleton passenger
that challenges my eye.

Yellow crocus breaking through
ground frozen just before.
Life looks much brighter now.
I expect to see some more.

Surprises of a leap year day
charm me to deny
the dust of snow on first of March.
It’s nothing but a lie.

Surprises on February 29 © March 1, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak

Creativity Shows Up

Thank you, creativity
for showing up again;
for flowing freely
in brand new ways.

Let me indulge you.
We’ll play like children,
laughing and dancing on canvas.
Dripping through paint
with carefree abandon.

Oh, how I cherish you
when you show yourself
through me.

we’ll courageously risk
crossing conventional boundaries.
Opening in the realm of possibility,
daring to reach the beyond,
make friends in spirit,
welcoming their faces
to make their debut in acrylic
as I, too, show up

Creativity Shows Up © March 23, 2014 | Annie Zalezsak

My Long Shadow

My long shadow treks
on speckled decks.
With arched-over neck
I write my texts.

By empty fountains
my long shadow stands.
Between two mountains
I mull over plans.

My bold shadow rises
on mock sails I ride
in shadow disguises
I abide in pride.

The sun flashes gazes
down on Bernard.
I finish my phrases.
I complete my regard.

My short shadow drifts
into dusk it shifts
blending so pretty
into anonymity.

My Long Shadow © March 10, 2014 | Annie Zalezsak

Buds Abound

Photo by Annie Zalezsak

Spring has arrived in Kelowna.
The ski rink disappeared
(I swear it was just there a minute ago).
Moo-Lix is now ice-cream-scooping.
Ogopogo is smiling brightly.
Mallard pairs eye me suspiciously,
guarding their planned parenthood.
It’s 10 degrees celsius
so people are wearing shorts.
I’m warm and unzip my coat,
but by the lake
I do it up again;
don my hat and gloves.
The wind still chills.
Tourist families dot the downtown.
Terriers still in tartan,
Marmaduke plods on a lazy leash,
black Lab dives after beach pebbles rippling the lake.
Buds abound
bringing promises of a new life
right in front of my home.
Inside, a little spider shuffles along my living room wall.
Ah, yes, it’s spring in Kelowna!
Spring has most certainly arrived.
I open my windows wide.
Hang on a minute while I fetch the spider outside.
“You’ll find it much nicer out on my balcony,” I tell him.
“Have a great day!” I say, as he scoots out of sight.

Buds Abound © March 9, 2014 | Annie Zalezsak

Toilet Wisdom

In a toilet stall of the women’s washroom at the Kelowna Library, I read these words of wisdom:

Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing.

Beneath this, someone else wrote:


We can find inspiration everywhere!